Problem Pairs in English
has quite a number of close (in sound and/or spelling) word pairs that
can cause quite a lot of confusion for both readers and writers.
Here are two common problem pairs:
speaker was so nauseous that it made the new student feel nauseated.”
As you can see, the word nauseous means to cause illness; on the other
hand, the word nauseated refers to the feeling of sickness (oftentimes
caused by the nauseous person!).
“If you want to
wreck a party, make sure to invite some badly behaved people who are
willing to wreak havoc.” Thus, wreck is the result of the wreaking,
although the two words do not share the same origins in language.
(May 15, 2011)
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